Topic: "Stupidly" (5)
Today, Frodo feels a little bit like a Cop in Cambridge. With the absolute best of intentions, and thinking that he was doing the right thing, he ended up in a brine jar. As a point of reference only, before we begin this nights tale, let us take note of the fact that Frodo, personally, is rated among the top 1% by all the credit rating agencies. It reflects both a sense of accomplishment, and a sense of pride, to the industrious nature of our Hobbit friend.
Some months ago, Sam convinced Frodo that the residence in the Shire required some repairs and upgrades. Despite the collapse of Frodo's business income, sufficient capital remained in savings to take advantage of the favorable offers gathered by Sam. After much analysis, Sam selected a contractor who would perform certain services, and who would necessarily sub-contract some tasks in order to complete the contract. Frodo observed as workers came and went, noting that many were Hispanic, and that progress seemed to be satisfactory.
When the work was completed, Sam paid the contractor in full and the Hobbits commenced their enjoyment in the refurbishments made to the Shire. A few days later, one of the Hispanic employees of a sub-contractor knocked on Frodo's door, and told Frodo and Sam that he had not been paid by the sub-contractor. In the presence of the Hispanic employee of the sub-contractor, Sam placed a telephone call to the contractor to alert him to the fact that one of his sub-contractors had evidently not fulfilled his obligation to his workers. Sam And Frodo explained to the sub-contractor that they had fulfilled their responsibility, but would continue to follow up, simply to be fair to a hard-working guy who seemed to be the innocent victim of circumstances beyond his control. Both Sam and Frodo were offended by the fact that the poor guy at the bottom of the food-chain was suffering because the money was not flowing as promised.
Several months passed, and nothing else was heard. Yesterday, Sam called Frodo at Mount Doom, very upset, to tell him that a legal document had arrived in the mail, addressed to Sam and Frodo, informing them that a "mechanic's lien" had been filed with the County by the Hispanic employee of the sub-contractor against their residence in the Shire. The letter was delivered through the US Mail in a hand-addressed envelope from said guy at the bottom of the food chain.
Frodo and Sam swung into action and Sam raised the roof with both the contractor and the sub-contractor. At this point in time, it is now known that the Hispanic employee of the sub-contractor was paid, but that he felt it was insufficcient to meet the actual expense he incurred. The sub-contractor alleges that the employee has not had sufficient work in the interim, and is using this avenue in order to garner enough money to "feed his family." In short, the contractor is taking an Insurance Bond to the County in order to have the "mechanic's lien" negated, documenting in Court that Frodo and Sam have paid their debt, and that their residence should be removed from the onerous lien. It will be required of Frodo that he monitor the credit rating agencies in order to assure himself that there is no negative impact on his sterling credit standing.
During the course, Frodo found himself using invective that was ethnically prejudicial. He realized also that he was in the comparable position of the landholder who had been accused of mistreatment of those who worked in his behalf while harvesting his cotton. He was, also, not unlike the Cop who thought he was doing his job, and that race was the furtherest thing from his mind when he busted that Harvard Professor for Disorderly Conduct. Frodo also realized that the "little guy" was just doing everything he could to "feed his family."
Frodo does not often show the conservative stripe that runs along the seams of his trousers. Tonight however, if that little jerk walked by the Shire, he'd better watch out for the motorcar that is bearing down on him from behind. Frodo has also learned that he, and his public reputation, is completely vulnerable to the unscrupulous, and that he must increase his wary ways, and sacrifice his instinctive trust in fellow inhabitants of Middle Earth. Frodo, it seems, was the one who truly acted "stupidly."